<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Sat, 30 May 2015 14:12:17 -0700 Sat, 30 May 2015 14:12:17 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Standoff Ends at Motorcycle Club]]> Sat, 30 May 2015 13:22:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Mt-Hope-Standoff-5.jpg

A SWAT standoff at a bar and motorcycle club in San Diego’s Mt. Hope area ended just after noon when officials determined there was no one inside the business.

At around 2:40 a.m., the San Diego Police Department was called to the Chosen Few Motorcycle Club at 4280 Market St., near 43rd Street, to investigate reports of shots fired in the bar.

Many patrons were fleeing from the building when officers arrived but police suspected one man, armed with a gun, remained inside.

Police requested SWAT officials and a nearly 10-hour-long standoff ensued.

Throughout the morning SWAT deployed severeal robots into the bar to check for a possible suspect inside, but officias were not been able to make contact with anyone. At around 12:15 p.m., officials determined there was no suspect inside.

Meanwhile, police said at least four people had been shot prior to the standoff at the club and had been transported to local hospitals. Their conditions are unknown.

Investigators have not yet determined who fired the shots or why. They’re looking into the possibility of whether or not the shooting may have been gang related.

Roads in the area  were closed off to traffic for many hours during the situation.

San Diego DJ Carlos Torres told NBC 7 there was a DJ competition happening at the motorcycle club when shots rang out. He said a melee erupted, with about 150 people rushing the door.

Torres said some patrons ran to hide in the kitchen area. He ran out of the building quickly with his wife to find cover.

The DJ said the atmosphere inside the bar was positive and everyone seemed to be having a good time before gunfire erupted. Torres remained at the scene because he said his DJ equipment is still inside the bar and he hoped to be able to recover it.

A description of the shooting suspect or suspects has not yet been released by police.



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Navy Service Member Killed in Alleged Road Rage]]> Sat, 30 May 2015 13:21:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/ducati+motorcycle+alleged+road+rage.JPG

A woman was under arrest Friday, accused of murder for striking and running over a motorcyclist on a busy San Diego highway at rush hour.

Imperial Beach resident Darla Renee Jackson, 26, was driving a black Nissan Altima northbound on Interstate 5 near E Street in Chula Vista at around 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers said Jackson and a man on a red Ducati motorcycle got into some type of disagreement on the roadway.

After the two drivers transitioned from I-5 to eastbound State Route 54 and passed National City Boulevard, Jackson hit the Ducati from behind and ran over the rider, CHP officers said.

The motorcyclist — identified by friends as 39-year-old Zachary Buob — died about an hour later at a hospital. A Santee resident, Buob was an active duty Chief Petty Officer in the Navy's special operations.

Jackson was arrested and now faces one count of murder in what officers are calling a road rage incident. She was booked into Las Colinas Detention and Re-entry Facility and is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

The crash caused a Sig Alert for more than two-and-a-half along SR-54 in the middle of a very busy evening commute. Investigators are in the process of tracking down drivers who may have witnessed the act of road rage from start to finish.

Anyone who may have seen anything involving these two vehicles should contact the CHP investigator at (619) 220-5492.

Describing the victim, friend Kathryn Cramer said Buob served in the military for more than 20 years and completed many tours overseas.

"He was so strong but his heart was so sweet," she said in an email. "He was truly one of the 'good guys' and my heart is broken. My prayers are with his Mom and Dad and family. He loved them so much."

Another good friend, Tim James, told NBC 7 Buob worked as an elite special boat operator, but motorcycles and trucks were his passion — only overshadowed by his love for family and friends.

"Zach was energetic, intelligent and a superb leader. He would light up any room he entered with his friendliness and wittiness...a heart of gold," said James in an email.

CHP Officer Jake Sanchez warned drivers Friday to not let road rage ever escalate to such a deadly point. He warned drivers not to pick fights with others on the roadway because you don't know what that person may be going through or if that person could be capable of something like this.


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<![CDATA[Cut Proposed to Married Military Housing Benefit]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 21:53:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Navy+generic.JPG

When two people serving in the military say “I do,” Congress could soon say “we don't” to paying both service members military housing benefits.

Currently, each spouse serving in the military gets a basic allowance for housing (BAH) to help them cover the cost of living off-base.

But under the Senate Armed Services Committee’s defense authorization bill, only the higher-ranking member in dual-service marriage would draw the housing benefit with a “dependents rate.” The other member would be ineligible.

“There can be a lot of controversy around this, whether that person is considered to be double dipping or not. Both of these service members joined the service under their own contracts; they have their own benefits and their own entitlements. Just because they are married, should they receive less benefits than a single person?” asked Tony Teravainen, CEO of Support the Enlisted Project. The organization helps struggling military families with basic needs and other financial help when they can't pay their bills living on a military salary.

The change is aimed cutting the near $500 billion defense budget, which has had a more than 30 percent increase in personnel spending over the last 14 years.

But this cut may not be so cut and dry. Teravainen said there are 85,000 junior enlisted, lower pay grades in the Navy in San Diego County. “Sixty percent of them are considered low income and 30 percent rely on food assistance regularly to feed their families, so anytime you make any adjustments to military pay, it's a very sensitive issue,” he said.

Members of the military who talked with NBC 7 Friday said this is complicated by a number of other issues. For instance, sometimes married military couples don't live in the same city because the military can't always station couples at the same location.

“I think they should not take that benefit away from them even if they are married. It is expensive to live, period. So if they are going to serve their country, they should get it,” said Penny Sloan.

After moving from the Armed Services Committee, the change has to pass the Senate and the House.
 

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<![CDATA[Jet Fuel Driver Pleads Not Guilty to DUI]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 19:07:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/jet+fuel+pic-PIC_0.jpg

The man accused of driving a San Diego International Airport jet fuel tanker while intoxicated has pleaded not guilty to charges against him.

James Stewart, 56, was appointed counsel and arraigned Friday on a DUI charge after his arrest on April 16. According to Harbor Police, Stewart had a blood alcohol content of 0.24, three times the legal limit to drive, when he arrived to work that day.

In court Friday, Stewart swore he did not own a vehicle and would not drive. He was also ordered to attend five Alcoholic Anonymous classes before his next court date scheduled for June 12, according to a spokesman for the city attorney’s office, which is prosecuting the DUI charge.

“He was there to fuel an aircraft, and that’s when he had gotten out of the vehicle, and he was walking around, and that’s when the ground service workers thought there was something wrong with him,” Harbor Police Lt. John Forsythe said.

Officers noted Stewart had bloodshot, watery eyes, smelled of alcohol, slurred his speech and staggered, according to an arrest record. The report details how employees alerted police to come to the tarmac near the Delta airline gate after Stewart got out of the fuel truck and was seen swaying and staggering.

He was taken into custody shortly after.

A Harbor Police official said the danger of operating the highly-flammable jet fuel tankers while intoxicated is obvious.

Stewart’s jury trial is scheduled for July 2.

NBC 7 Investigates is working for you. If you have more information about this or other story tips, contact us: (619) 578-0393, NBC7Investigates@nbcuni.com. To receive the latest NBC 7 Investigates stories subscribe to our newsletter.

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<![CDATA[Ex-Housing Manager: I Made Mistakes at Facility]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 22:15:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/hotel_sanford_1200x675_449730627896.jpg

The former Hotel Sandford manager who is being investigated on possible charges of embezzlement told NBC 7 Investigates Friday he is cooperating with detectives.

Michael Shew was hired by Royal Property Management (RPM) to manage the affordable housing complex from October 2014 until April of this year when he resigned.

In an email to NBC 7 Investigates, Shew said:

"I have spoken with the San Diego Police department and I am working/cooperating with them and their investigation. I made a few serious mistakes in judgement and I am trying to do anything that I can to help correct those mistakes."

NBC 7 Investigates reported last week that RPM lost the Hotel Sandford property management contract this month after the San Diego Housing Commission and SDPD were alerted to possible cases of embezzlement at the complex. RPM was awarded the property management contract last October by the San Diego Housing Commission.

In 2010, the San Diego Housing Commission bought the former hotel and converted the building into housing units for seniors.

The owners of RPM said they hired Michael Shew to run the day-to-day operations of the housing complex when they were awarded the property management contract last year.

Last month, the owners of RPM said they were first alerted that rent checks, made payable to the Hotel Sandford, were not being cashed into the hotel’s accounts.

When RPM brought this to the attention of Shew, the owners said, he submitted his resignation the next day, citing personal health issues.

San Diego Police say the investigation is ongoing.

At this time, no charges have been filed against Michael Shew or RPM’s owners.

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<![CDATA[Petco Park to Host Basketball Game]]> Sat, 30 May 2015 10:19:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Petco-Park-Generic-Garske.jpg

It’s usually all about baseball at Petco Park but this winter, the downtown stadium will try its hand at hosting a basketball game on an outdoor court to be built on the ballpark’s infield.

On Friday, it was announced that Petco Park will play host to the first college basketball game in the venue’s history on Dec. 5, 2015, at 2 p.m. as the men's San Diego State University Aztecs take on the University of San Diego Toreros.

Now, if you’re having a hard time visualizing a basketball game at the ballpark, here’s the game plan on the set-up:

Reps say the local college teams will compete on a special outdoor basketball court that will be situated length-wise between third base and home plate. Bleacher seating will be laid out on the field erected around the open sides of the court.

The seats will accommodate nearly 3,300 spectators, supplementing the existing options in the Petco Park seating areas.

Capacity for the winter basketball event is set at nearly 20,000, reps said.

“Petco Park has been a versatile facility that has taken on different shapes and sizes in recent years, from a tennis court to a Supercross course,” said Padres President and CEO Mike Dee in a press release issued Friday. “We look forward to hosting basketball activities and welcoming two local schools to play outdoors in the middle of downtown San Diego. We’d like to thank the leadership at both San Diego State and USD for working closely with us to make the vision for this game a reality.”

Both college teams said they’re looking forward to playing at the unique venue.

Tickets for the game will go on sale in June exclusively to Padres Members, Toreros Season Ticket Holders, SDSU men’s basketball 2015-16 full season ticket holders, Aztec Club members and Aztec football full season ticket holders.

Tickets for the general public will go on sale later this summer, ranging in price from $20 to $350. In the fall, $10 student tickets will be available for purchase.

A seating map for the game can be seen here. For more details on the sporting event, visit this website.
 



Photo Credit: Monica Garske]]>
<![CDATA[$312K in Heroin Stuffed in Bag]]> Sat, 30 May 2015 13:42:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/BB-White-Heroin-0529-1.JPG Images of smuggling attempts at their finest.

Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection]]>
<![CDATA[FAA Looks at Rules Regarding Pilot's Mental Health]]> Sat, 30 May 2015 13:17:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Airplane_Cockpit_Generic.jpg

The FAA has announced it will begin consulting medical professionals and pilots to come up with new rules regarding mental and emotional evaluations of those in the cockpit.

The moves comes after Germanwings flight 9525 in March, where the pilot is suspected of crashing the plane into the French Alps on purpose, killing all passengers on board.

Before ever getting into the cockpit of a plane students are required to have a full physical and mental evaluation.

Commercial pilots must see an FAA-approved doctor every six to 12 months to maintain their license.

San Diego International Airport is the busiest single runway commercial airport in the country. Some boarding their flights on Friday expressed a mix of concern and support for the step toward new rules. 

Daniel Chamberlain, a passenger, was taking his first flight of the year on Friday. Even months after the Germanwings flight, Chamberlain said flying Friday made him nervous.

“Yeah it worries me,” he said. “I have never had anxiety toward flying until this flight.”

Air and Space Museum President Jim Kidrick was a Navy pilot for 21 years. He said the newly announced measures are complex.

“The difficulty is this isn't an exact science, we're never ever going to be perfect, we'll only be as good as we can be,” Kidrick said.

Kidrick says more pilots would self-report emotional struggles if they didn't fear losing their license.

“It’s important to have an open environment conducive to a willingness to talk about those challenges,” Kidrick said.

Bradley Newcomb is a commercial pilot in training. When asked what more could be done by the FAA, he suggested a hotline for anonymous complaints or more thorough annual check- ups.

“Asking questions, reaching out to family members even just asking for three references,” Newcomb said.

The FAA says its panel includes pilots and medical experts. It will examine how a pilot’s emotional and mental health is evaluated in addition to looking at barriers to self-reporting.

The intention is to create safer flights and raise confidence among the public when traveling on planes.

The Airline Pilots Association will be represented on that FAA Panel. In a statement, the group said:

"We look forward to working alongside other key stakeholders in evaluating the extensive procedures and processes currently in place that provide a thorough monitoring of crewmembers in the United States."

The panel meetings are not open to the public. The FAA set of goal of six months to come up with the new rules.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Man Attacks Victim Sleeping in Car]]> Sat, 30 May 2015 13:05:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Policelightsgeneric.jpg

San Diego police said carjacking suspect Everardo Deleon-Diaz was surprised by the sleeping victim in the back seat as he tried to steal a car

A man sleeping in the back seat of his car awoke to a stranger sitting in the driver’s seat who began punching him while trying to steal the vehicle, San Diego police said.

The bizarre attempted carjacking happened Saturday around 5:15 a.m. in the 1900 block of 6th Avenue in uptown San Diego’s Park West community.

The San Diego Police Department said a 62-year-old man was sleeping in the back seat of his parked 2001 Toyota Echo when Everardo Deleon-Diaz, 28, opened the unlocked driver’s side door and sat down in the car.

Police said Deleon-Diaz didn’t realize the owner of the car was sleeping in the back seat. When the owner awoke, Deleon-Diaz began punching him and demanding the car keys.

The victim was able to escape from the car and called 911. When officers arrived, they arrested Deleon-Diaz.

He was charged with attempted carjacking and booked into San Diego Central Jail. He’s scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

The victim was treated for injuries to his face at the scene, police said.

No one else was injured in the incident. The case remains under investigation.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto]]>
<![CDATA[Special Olympics Torch Run]]> Sat, 30 May 2015 11:48:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Torch-Run-SD-2015.jpg Special Olympic athletes develop more self-confidence by training and competing in various sports, such as soccer, swimming, and track and field. On June 2-3, local law enforcement agencies will help raise money for Special Olympics by running through the streets of San Diego as part of the Torch Run. NBC 7’s weekend team speaks with SDPD Asst. Chief Mark Jones and Special Olympics global ambassador Thomas Selbe about the important event.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Dem, GOP Leaders Assess Sup. Roberts’ Political Viability]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 20:46:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/supervisor+dave+roberts.JPG

NBC 7's Gene Cubbison offers this analysis on the turmoil in San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts' office.

San Diego County's Republican Party is getting a big jump on next year's election cycle -- attracted by blood in the political water surrounding 3rd District County Supervisor Dave Roberts.

Until a few weeks ago, Roberts looked unbeatable – with no opposition from either party in sight.

Then his office staff imploded.

Bitter accusations surfaced.

Now, district attorney’s investigators are on Roberts’ case.

Civil lawyers on the clock.

And ultimately, county taxpayers may be on the hook to cover six-figure severance claims filed by his former chief of staff and scheduler.

Since 1995, the County Board of Supervisors had been all-Republican until Roberts was elected in 2012 took office in early 2013.

But given widespread media coverage of his legal troubles, there are growing doubts about the popular, energetic first-termer winning a second term on the board.

“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” said Tony Krvaric, chairman of the Republican Part of San Diego County. “It’s just a matter of if he leaves office before the election.”

Roberts flatly denies every allegation of misconduct and improprieties lodged by those former staffers, and told NBC 7 in an interview Thursday that he’s confident of withstanding any recall or re-election challenges.

In a Friday recording session for this weekend's edition of NBC 7’s “Politically Speaking with Gene Cubbison" program, San Diego County Democratic Party chairwoman Francine Busby vehemently defended Roberts.

"He is one of the most successful, hard-working supervisors that we have had in years -- he has brought a fresh breath to the county board," Busby declared. "And he's pointing out the fact that he had two staff members that were disgruntled -- they made that very clear publicly. They're looking for compensation for that."

Krvaric offered this rebuttal: "If we are following the legal process, Bob Filner would still be mayor today. This man has no credibility, whether he makes it to the end of his term. There's no doubt he will not end up being able to run for re-election, at least not with any credibility. We will have several candidates, and that'll be a race."

The early talk of an electoral challenge to Roberts revolves around a state assemblyman, a North County mayor and a San Diego city councilman.

Busby downplays the severity of Roberts’ political peril.

"This is not the first time a supervisor has run into headwaters, and every one of them has survived -- from Bill Horn's issues and Pam Slater-Price's,” Busby noted. “ Some of the other ones have come into pay fines, they've had penalties, they've had problems. Dave Roberts has to prove that he is doing his job, that he has his office in order. And I think he will do that."

It's probably too early – and bad form -- for Democrats to think out loud about Roberts' viability for re-election.

But behind closed doors, off-line?

It may get too late to hold onto District 3 if they're not already making contingency plans.

NBC 7's Politically Speaking airs at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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<![CDATA[Standoff Suspect ID'd, Shot Neighbor 19 Times]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 19:13:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/CV-SWAT-Marjerus-Reynolds.jpg

Police released the name of the man Friday accused of shooting his neighbor 19 times before sparking a 10-hour-long standoff with law enforcement at an apartment complex in Chula Vista, south of downtown San Diego.

According to the Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD), Michael Majerus, 42, shot and killed neighbor Nicholas Reynolds, 43, at the Mission Gardens apartment complex located at 160 E Street on Thursday morning. Witnesses told police the men had a long-standing dispute over neighborhood issues.

Police said Majerus shot Reynolds 19 times with an AR-15 rifle as Reynolds was getting into his car at the apartment complex.

After the deadly rounds were fired, Majerus barricaded himself inside his apartment along with his wife, Laura, and two young children, still armed with the AR-15.

Dozens of police officers and SWAT officials surrounded the apartment complex and crisis negotiators were called in as a lengthy standoff with Majerus ensued.

A number of other agencies were called in for backup, including the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the San Diego Police Department and National City Police Department.

Officials shut down major roads in the area and evacuated dozens of residents from the apartment complex as the standoff unfolded.

MTS assisted in transporting evacuees to the nearby Norman Park Senior Center where the residents remained for hours. The American Red Cross provided food to the evacuees and police officers throughout the very long day.

After hours of on-again off-again negotiations with the suspect and sending a direct message to Majerus via news cameras, the suspect released his wife and the children from the apartment at around 3:35 p.m. They were unharmed.

Majerus remained holed up inside the apartment.

About an hour later, three shots rang out. CVPD Lt. Fritz Reber said the first came from a police test canon shot. The second was inside the apartment and did not come from officers. The third was a flash bang grenade that shattered a window so the SWAT team could send in two robots and check on the suspect.

One robot spotted a man down in an upstairs room, and a SWAT team soon followed to confirm. They found Majerus dead inside from a single self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Police said two other handguns were found inside the apartment.

Investigators believe there was no verbal argument before Majerus shot his neighbor. According to the CVPD, officers had been called on two prior occasions to the apartment complex regarding the ongoing dispute between the neighbors.

However, in both instances, police determined there was no crime and no police report was filed. Police confirmed Majerus had no significant criminal history.

The deadly shooting remains under investigation. No other residents or law enforcement were injured in the standoff.
 



Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Vet Dies After Drop at SoCal Fair]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 14:48:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/212*120/5-29-15+Navy+Death+San+Bernardino+Fair+FreeDrop+USA.JPG

A Navy veteran died several hours after a mishap on a platform dive attraction making its debut at a Southern California fair Thursday night, authorities said.

Sabrina Gordon, 31, of Hesperia fell from the FreeDrop USA ride at the San Bernardino County Fair Thursday night at 8:14 p.m., and was airlifted to a hospital, deputies said. Less than five hours later, at 12:20 a.m. Friday, Gordon died.

Her heartbroken family remembered her as a wonderful person whose death could have been prevented.

“She was a very funny little girl… Always independent, doing her own thing,” Lyle Bell said, Gordon’s father.

She followed her father’s footsteps and joined the Navy right out of high school.

“Like I did and my dad… His father, two older brothers, one younger… we all served,” he said.

It appeared Gordon hit the air cushion and bounced onto the asphalt ground, subsequently injuring her head, according to her father.

"This was stupid, this was something for professional stunt people," Bell said.

Three platforms let participants jump 20, 28 or 36 feet onto the inflated pillow that stands 13-feet tall, according to a news release from the fair. FreeDrop USA was making its debut in California at the fair, according to the release.

A video posted to the San Bernardino County Fair's Facebook page showed the attraction in action, and its caption described the ride as "no bungee cords, no wires, no harnesses, just pure free fall."

"The ride was immediately closed and will remain so indefinitely," San Bernardino County Fair CEO/General Manager Geoff Hinds said in a statement. "The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is conducting a thorough investigation."

Gordon reportedly dove off the 28-foot platform, according to the fair’s news release.

She was working at the fair for a vendor when friends egged her into making the jump.

"There were no safety nets ... this accident could have been completely avoided," her husband said, Clifford Gordon. He was not there when she fell but said that when they saw the attraction days before, they both agreed it was too dangerous.

The company that makes FreeDrop defended its safety record in a statement, saying more than 50,000 people have made safe jumps on the ride across the country.

Fair Board of Directors President Paul Russ said in a statement: "This is a heart wrenching tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family."



Photo Credit: Courtesy: Family]]>
<![CDATA[Record Rain Floods North Texas]]> Sat, 30 May 2015 06:58:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/New+First+Alert+Radar+Image.jpg

Forecasters warned that yet another series of thunderstorms was set to pummel North and Central Texas early Saturday morning, a day after flood waters submerged Texas highways and threatened homes across the already storm-damaged state.

A squall line stalled over Dallas overnight Thursday, dropping record-setting rainfall and triggering a Flash Flood Emergency in North Texas. The most recent rain added to the damage inflicted by thunderstorms that have killed at least 23 people statewide, including two overnight in North Texas, and left 13 missing.

The rain seeped into homes and stranded hundreds of drivers across the Metroplex, many of whom lingered along Dallas' Loop 12 for six hours Friday morning after being gridlocked by high water and abandoned vehicles.

Overnight, Dallas Fire-Rescue crews responded to more than 270 calls that included trapped vehicles and crashes, authorities said.

The Colorado River could crest in Wharton Saturday, causing major flooding in the community 60 miles southwest of Houston, forecasters said.

President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration amid the severe weather, offering federal funding to affected people in Harris, Hays and Van Zandt counties, the White House said in a statement early Saturday. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had earlier requested a presidential disaster declaration to get federal help for affected counties.

Two Dead in Overnight Flooding

Mesquite Fire Department Capt. Kelly Turner said a man's body was found early Friday morning after his truck had been swept into a culvert and submerged.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office identified the flood victim as 47-year-old John Jeffrey Usfrey.

Turner said people stranded on two cars that were also swept off the road told responders about the truck. He said the truck had been underwater for some time before they found it, and that authorities believe the man, whose name has not been released, was alone in the vehicle.

In Dallas, police said Friday afternoon the body of a man was found near California Crossing and Northwest Highway as flood waters receded. Police did not release the man's identity, but did say he was not found in a vehicle.

Recent storms are being blamed for killing seven people in Oklahoma and at least 23 in Texas, where 13 remain missing or unaccounted for.

Rainfall Sets New Record

Thursday's storm, which dropped nearly five inches of rain overnight at Dallas Love Field and more than two inches elsewhere around the Metroplex, helped set a record for the wettest May in Dallas-Fort Worth history.

The previous record for May rainfall was set in 1982 at 13.66 inches and was eclipsed at midnight when 13.87 inches had been recorded for the month. By 8 a.m., the total rose to 16.07 inches; 8.62 inches received in the last week alone.

According to The National Weather Service in Fort Worth, those 16 inches of rainfall amount to more than 35 trillion gallons of rain. 

The wettest month ever recorded in North Texas goes all the way back to April 1922 where 17.64 inches were recorded.  With more rain expected Friday night and into Saturday, shattering that record remains a possibility.

Dallas County

Flooding has blocked a busy highway west of Downtown Dallas, causing major traffic delays in both directions.

Overnight rain caused water to pool on Loop 12, under the Interstate 30 overpass Friday morning, trapping commuters for several hours. Some of the drivers said they had been there since 5 or 6 a.m.

Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Hartzel said a crane was brought in after 11 a.m. to remove a section of median so that motorists trapped in the southbound lanes could get off the roadway. The northbound lane had already been cleared.

He said the southbound lanes were more challenging because streets where people could have exited were flooded as well. He said they think that the area where the road usually drains to flooded as well, so there was nowhere for the water to go.

At 10:20 a.m., Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said they had received more than 270 calls for help, most of which were for cars stranded in high water.  Evans added there were about 70 crashes reported.

"Obviously 'turn around don’t drown' is the phrase of the day," Evans said in a news release. "In addition to turning around, we would encourage drivers to map out at least two alternate routes to where they’re going, that way they don’t feel pressured to put themselves at risk. Better to be late to something than to put yourself in a situation where you just don’t get there at all."

Evans also reminded drivers that if they see an emergency vehicle blocking a roadway, it's there for a reason and to not drive around it.

"While not seeing a warning sign, for high water, can be understood; what’s inexcusable is drivers who drive around emergency and service vehicles to drive into the same high waters from which we are rescuing people," Evans said.

An NBC 5 photographer captured video of a driver maneuvering around a police cruiser beneath an overpass on Northwest Highway early Friday and heading directly into high water.

Rescue crews used a raft to help that driver to safety after the SUV gave way to the water.

"We have a sincere plea with our drivers. If you see a barricade or a sign, please do not try to drive through that area," said Sana Syed, City of Dallas spokesperson.

Tarik Hawkins told NBC News he was became stranded while trying to drive to work. He said it took him two hours to drive about a mile and described the situation on the road as "very chaotic."

"Right off I-35, there has to be 50 or 60 cars stranded," he said.

Israel Ramos, a 32-year-old tower inspector, said there was three inches of water inside his home and the street outside resembled "a river." He told NBC News that his neighbor called police when he saw an SUV floating down the street with a person inside.

The American Red Cross opened a shelter at the Tony Shotwell Life Center in Grand Prairie, according to spokeswoman Anita Foster. Supplies should arrive at the center at about 8 a.m.

Tarrant County

Arlington police said they blocked East Abram Street near Texas 360 because of major flooding over the roadway.

Authorities also received high-water calls on Interstate 30 near Oakland Boulevard and University Drive, 7200 Wichita Street and Trinity Boulevard near Precinct Line Road.

An NBC 5 viewer reported that Walnut Creek in Mansfield is swollen and pushing toward residential areas. Nearby Oliver Nature Park is also reportedly under water and closed.

Johnson County

Officials have evacuated or rescued about 19 people, according to Johnson County Emergency Management Coordinator Jamie Moore, but many more could be trapped in their homes.

"This is our fourth major flooding since April 26," he said. "We're doing rescues and having homes that are inundated with water."

About 45 roads are closed in the county due to flooding.

Parker County

Authorities said the Brazos River in Parker County is rising again due to new rain and the opening of two flood gates upstream at Possum Kingdom Lake.

County emergency management spokesman Joel Kertok said Friday that the river had risen above flood stage again after dropping below it Thursday night.

On Thursday, water was lapping at the foundations of 11 homes as the river crested at 23.58 feet before dropping to about 20 feet. The flood stage is at 21 feet. The level rose Friday to 21.4 feet and was expected to rise to nearly 27 feet Saturday.

Residents of about 250 homes near the river, most in the Horseshoe Bend community, were asked to voluntarily evacuate.

"The river is already above flood stage and will continue to rise through today and tomorrow," county emergency management coordinator George Teague said. "This situation will get worse before it gets better."

Flights Impacted

As of 10 a.m., officials reported that 44 flights into Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport had been canceled; 56 arrivals were delayed. Thirteen flights departing from the airport were canceled and 52 more delayed.

One of D/FW Airport's runways closed temporarily after a storm drain crews were repairing to address a nearby sinkhole collapsed. Officials said they expect the closure to have minimal impact on flights.

Nineteen flights departing from Dallas Love Field were delayed and 19 more canceled. Eighteen flights into the airport were delayed and 18 more canceled.

Dallas Love Field also experienced a power outage caused by a surge overnight, according to airport official Jose Torres. Power has since been restored.


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<![CDATA[Mores Rain Floods North Texas]]> Sat, 30 May 2015 09:38:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Little+Elm+Flooding.jpg

Rain moved across North Texas once again on Saturday morning flooding roads and adding to the already rising lake and creek levels.

For the second day in a row, flash flood warnings were activated for many of the bigger counties including Dallas, Tarrant, Denton and Collin.

From Dallas to Lewisville, Denton and beyond, police departments, cities and residents reported high water and road closures.

People who live along Singleton Boulevard in West Dallas are watching the weather very closely after Dallas Police officers drove through the neighborhood on Friday night urging residents to evacuate.

Some waited until Saturday morning.

"We knew it was going to flood since we stayed in front of the little river so we just left," said Juanita Hernandez.

Garland, one of the hardest hit areas, has seen 9 inches of rain fall in the last two days.

And in Dallas about 6 inches fell as of Saturday morning. The rain is not a welcomed sight for many in Dallas County after flooding blocked Loop 12 under Interstate 30 overpass on Friday. That area is expected to be closed well into next week.

In Lewisvlle John Beachman who has lived by Timber Creek since 2001 said 8 feet of his property is now under water.  

President Barack Obama signed a disaster declaration amid the severe weather, offering federal funding to affected people in Harris, Hays and Van Zandt counties, the White House said in a statement early Saturday. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had earlier requested a presidential disaster declaration to get federal help for affected counties.

Two Dead in North Texas Flooding

Two North Texas deaths have been blamed on the flooding. 

Mesquite Fire Department Capt. Kelly Turner said a man's body was found early Friday morning after his truck had been swept into a culvert and submerged.

The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office identified the flood victim as 47-year-old John Jeffrey Usfrey.

Turner said people stranded on two cars that were also swept off the road told responders about the truck. He said the truck had been underwater for some time before they found it, and that authorities believe the man, whose name has not been released, was alone in the vehicle.

In Dallas, police said Friday afternoon the body of a man was found near California Crossing and Northwest Highway as flood waters receded. Police did not release the man's identity, but did say he was not found in a vehicle.

Recent storms are being blamed for killing seven people in Oklahoma and at least 23 in Texas, where 13 remain missing or unaccounted for. 

Dallas County

Flooding has blocked a busy highway west of Downtown Dallas, causing major traffic delays in both directions.

Overnight rain caused water to pool on Loop 12, under the Interstate 30 overpass Friday morning, trapping commuters for several hours. Some of the drivers said they had been there since 5 or 6 a.m.

Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Tony Hartzel said a crane was brought in after 11 a.m. to remove a section of median so that motorists trapped in the southbound lanes could get off the roadway. The northbound lane had already been cleared.

He said the southbound lanes were more challenging because streets where people could have exited were flooded as well. He said they think that the area where the road usually drains to flooded as well, so there was nowhere for the water to go.

 

On Friday an NBC 5 photographer captured video of a driver maneuvering around a police cruiser beneath an overpass on Northwest Highway early Friday and heading directly into high water.

Rescue crews used a raft to help that driver to safety after the SUV gave way to the water.

"We have a sincere plea with our drivers. If you see a barricade or a sign, please do not try to drive through that area," said Sana Syed, City of Dallas spokesperson.

Tarik Hawkins told NBC News he was became stranded while trying to drive to work. He said it took him two hours to drive about a mile and described the situation on the road as "very chaotic."

"Right off I-35, there has to be 50 or 60 cars stranded," he said.



Photo Credit: Casey Brezovsky
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<![CDATA[Hastert Resigns From College Board]]> Sat, 30 May 2015 06:03:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/wheaton-college-hastert-cen.jpg

Former U.S. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert has resigned from the board of the Christian school's public policy and government center that bears his name, a Wheaton College spokesperson said.

The resignation was the latest fallout from a federal indictment accusing Hastert of violating banking laws. The indictment alleges Hastert was paying hush money to keep someone silent about "prior misconduct."

A federal law enforcement official on Friday afternoon told NBC News the misconduct involved an alleged sexual relationship between Hastert and a former male student at the school.

Wheaton College is home to the J. Dennis Hastert Center for Economics, Government and Public Policy. The center was established in 2007, when Hastert stepped down from Congress after eight years as speaker.

A college spokewoman told the Chicago Tribune that no decisions had been made Friday about possible changes to the center's name or programming.

Hastert's name was removed Thursday from the Washington, D.C. lobbying and law firm where he worked, and a spokesperson there said Hastert had resigned.



Photo Credit: NBC Chicago]]>
<![CDATA[Priest Convicted of Sexually Assaulting Woman]]> Sat, 30 May 2015 00:17:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/220*120/05.29.15_Marcelo-De-Jesumaria.JPG

A Catholic priest was found guilty Friday in federal court of sexually assaulting a woman aboard a flight from Philadelphia to LAX.

A federal jury found Father Marcelo De Jesumaria, who is based out of Arrowhead, California, guilty of abusive sexual contact on the US Airways flight to Los Angeles last August.

The FBI told the NBC4 I-Team that a female passenger, identified in legal documents only as "BD," woke up during the flight to find the priest’s "hands on her breast, groin, and buttocks."

De Jesumaria had previously served in the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Bernardino, but was removed from the ministry in November when the allegations against him surfaced, the diocese said in an emailed statement. He is a member of the Chicago-based Congregation of the Resurrection, which will determine his future in the priesthood, the statement said.

Last year, the NBC4 I-Team exposed the growing problem of sexual assaults reported aboard airplanes. The FBI told NBC4 that most of the assaults happen on red-eye flights when the cabin is dark and the victims are asleep or dozing off.

The FBI urges anyone who is assaulted aboard a plane to immediately report it to the flight crew while still in the air.

"Criminal activity aboard an aircraft that is reported several days or weeks after an incident occurs presents greater challenges for investigators," said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

In the US Airways incident, FBI agents met De Jesumaria at the gate, when the plane landed last August. They gathered enough evidence to indict him in October.

Friday, after a three-day trial in federal court, a jury found De Jesumaria guilty of abusive sexual contact, which is defined as "the intentional touching… of the groin, breast, inner thigh or buttocks of any person with the intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade and arouse."

De Jesumaria will be sentenced Aug. 24. He faces a two-year statutory maximum sentence.

NBC4 asked the Diocese of San Bernardino for comment and they emailed this statement:

"The Diocese of San Bernardino considers the actions alleged of Father De Jesumaria in the federal indictment to be sinful and unlawful. We removed him from ministry in the diocese immediately after we became aware of this allegation in November and we are deeply regretful of any harm that may have occurred as a result of his actions. He belongs to a Chicago-based religious order, the Congregation of the Resurrection, that will determine the future of his priesthood."

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<![CDATA[Man Arrested After Woman's Body Found at Motel]]> Sat, 30 May 2015 11:02:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/mark+everitt.jpg

Deputies arrested a man on suspicion of murder after a woman was found dead in a Santee motel earlier this week.

Mark Michael Everitt, 52, was taken into custody in La Mesa Friday at about 3:30 p.m., according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. He will be booked into jail for murder in the death of Julie Ann Marie Ulm.

Ulm's body was found in the Rodeway Inn on Mission Gorge Road at noon on Monday. A citizen had flagged down a deputy to say a person was down in a room.

The medical examiner has not released Ulm's cause of death, and sheriff's officials have not detailed what led them to accuse Everitt in her killing.

Ulm would often stay at the Rodeway Inn when she needed time alone, Sheila Kelly Paradise -- who knew the victim for 36 years -- told NBC 7 on Friday.

Before her murder, Ulm had stayed at the motel for three days, the friend said. On the fourth, she called Paradise to ask if she could stay with her. Paradise declined, explaining she had just suffered a bad fall and couldn't host her.

That was the last Paradise heard from Ulm.

“Then I saw on TV… 55-year-old woman murdered at Rodeway Inn," said Paradise, "and I went, ‘Oh my God, that’s Julie.’ And it just clicked."

She could not imagine why anyone would want to kill Ulm, describing the victim as someone who would give you the shirt off her back.

Paradise and Ulm lived in the same El Cajon apartment complex for years.

“She was the most outgoing, funny, giving person you ever hoped to meet," said Paradise. "She could find humor in the darndest places. She had what I called black humor.”

For a time, Ulm's daughter lived with her in El Cajon, but she had since moved out. Alice Ulm, a family member in New York, told NBC 7 that Ulm's daughter and the rest of the family had been keeping their distance from her because of recent "lifestyle choices."

Ulm's in-laws were actors James Whitmore -- known for his turn in "Shawshank Redemption" -- and Audra Lindley of "Three's Company" fame, according to Paradise.

After her husband's death, Ulm started cleaning homes and businesses under Paradise's suggestion -- an endeavor she continued for 15 years.


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<![CDATA[Hastert Paid To Hide Sexual Relationship: Official]]> Sat, 30 May 2015 10:42:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Dennis-Hastert-1981.jpg

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was making payments to a man in order to conceal a sexual relationship they had while the man was a student at Yorkville High School, a federal law enforcement official told NBC News on Friday.

Hastert was indicted Thursday with making regular withdrawals from his bank accounts below a limit that would require reporting and then lying to federal officials when asked about those withdrawals. 

The Department of Justice and IRS allege Hastert, 73, withdrew $1.7 million from various banks between 2010 to 2014 and provided the funds to an unnamed person "to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct."

The indictment accused Hastert of promising a total of $3.5 million to the unnamed person.

The indictment did not specify the alleged misconduct or identify "Individual A" other than saying the person was someone from Yorkville, Illinois, where Hastert was employed as teacher and wrestling coach from 1965 to 1981.

District officials on Friday said they had no knowledge of any alleged misconduct.

Hastert's name was removed Thursday from the Washington, D.C. lobbying and law firm where he worked, and a spokesperson there said Hastert had resigned.

If convicted of the charges against him, Hastert faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. 

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<![CDATA[Flier Singles Out African-Americans]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 18:14:56 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/05-29-15_Toscana-Flier-Controversy.jpg

Controversy is shaking up a Southern California apartment complex after a flier appeared in community elevators specifically asking African-American residents to speak quietly and to turn down music levels at night.

The fliers were posted in at least two of the elevators at the Toscana Apartments, located near the campus of University of California, Irvine, and advised and reminded residents about the appropriate noise levels, citing several recent complaints.

And, at the bottom left, this:

"We would like to remind our African-American residents to keep conversation volume down and reduce music levels between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.”

The complex is located about a mile from the UC Irvine campus, many students live at this complex.

"I definitely feel uncomfortable here, I don't feel safe here,” one resident, who did not want to be identified by name, told NBC4.

The flier ends by thanking residents for their cooperation and is signed as if it is from Toscana’s management. It includes the actual address and phone number to Equity Residential, the company which manages the complex.

"I want the lease cut off, I don't feel comfortable here, I don't want to be a part of this community and obviously the apartment complex doesn't want us to be here either," the resident NBC Los Angeles interviewed said.

The regional manager for Equity Residential, Mary Linder, categorically denied any involvement.

"The flier is a fake. No one from Equity, not any of our employees or Equity Residential had anything to do with the creation or the distribution. We're outraged with the content and we are investigating it," Linder said.

Still, some residents remain infuriated.

"This is what happens, they try to deny it and they try make it private and try to talk to us and try to deal with it, they send cops and security to intimidate and try to stifle us," a resident who asked to be identified as DD said.

Irvine police did visit the complex Friday, mostly hearing residents concerns.

"(I’m) really surprised,” resident Christine, who asked to be identified by her first name, said. “I think it's horrifying that someone would write specifically about one culture and point that out."

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<![CDATA[Family of Man Killed by Cop Files $20M Claim Against City]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 20:43:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/midway+district+shooting.png

The family of a man shot to death by a San Diego Police officer who did not record the incident on his body camera has filed a $20 million claim against the city and the officer, claiming he used excessive and unreasonable deadly force.

The claim centers on the death of Fridoon Rawshan Nehad, 42, outside a Midway District adult bookstore early in the morning on April 30. 

Nehad, a native of Afghanistan, struggled with PTSD and mental illness after he was drafted into the Afghan army as a teenager to fight the Mujahedeen forces during the country’s civil war, his parents said in the claim, which also detailed how he spent two months in captivity.

The SDPD said officers were called to the Highlight Bookstore on Hancock Street for a report of a man threatening people with a knife. Officer Neal Browder, a 27-year veteran of the SDPD, encountered Nehad in an alley beside the store. The claim alleges Browder did not activate his siren, turn on his police lights or use his megaphone when he confronted Nehad, who is also known as Rawshannehad or Rawshan.

Police say the officer gave Nehad verbal commands, but when he didn’t follow them and kept coming toward Browder, he was shot. However, the claim says Nehad was still 20 feet away and did nothing wrong.

“A police officer can use deadly force only if he is confronted with deadly force or if somebody’s life is in danger,” the document reads. “Nobody’s life was in danger here. Fridoon did not challenge Browder with deadly force. Fridoon did not challenge Browder at all.”

Browder is accused of purposefully not turning on his body camera, and Nehad’s family believes the SDPD tried to help him hide what really happened. Though multiple security cameras recorded the fatal encounter, the agency has not released the video to the public.

"They are covering up what happened, circling the wagons, or so it would appear, and refusing to be up front, refusing to turn the lights on, refusing to disclose it," said the family's attorney Skip Martin.

After the fatal shooting, investigators told media they did not find any knife on Nehad’s body, though they did find a “shiny object” on him. Nehad’s parents said that statement falsely suggested he had a knife and threatened the officer.

After the incident, the SDPD changed its policy on body cameras, requiring officers to turn them on when they are called to a crime in progress, not just when they interact with a suspect. The claim says the agency has a “practice of officer misconduct and deceit, and this case is part and parcel of it.”

The shooting ended Nehad’s long struggle with PTSD and mental illness, his parents said in the claim. While in the Afghan army, Nehad was captured by a Mujahedeen group and spent nearly two months in captivity, being tortured, according to the claim. He was released when his mother met face-to-face with his captors.

To prevent further injury to their son, his parents said they sent him to Germany for the next 14 years, where he lived away from his family. After the parents fled Afghanistan in favor of the U.S., Nehad joined them there in 2003.

Here in the U.S., he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disease. “Fridoon battled against his illnesses for years. He was intelligent, learning new languages (German and French) and taking classes on computer programming, linguistics and literature,” the claim reads.

But Nehad suffered manic episodes, becoming aggressive and getting him in trouble with the law. He pleaded guilty to battery in 2005, was sentenced for burglary in 2008 and was charged with petty theft in 2014.

“Fridoon was loved. His family spent years and countless hours helping him cope with his PTSD and mental illness,” the claim said.

However, during one episode, he threatened his mother and sister and said he would light the house on fire so they could all burn. Investigating police recommended the family get a restraining order to help get Nehad into a shelter in Oceanside, according to the document. His mother filed for the restraining order two days before his death.

NBC 7 has reached out to the SDPD officials for their response to this claim, but they have not yet responded. While addressing fallout from the shooting, SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman said the homicide unit is conducting a thorough investigation, which will be sent to the San Diego County District Attorney's office for review. On Friday, the DA's office said they have not yet received the SDPD's findings.

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<![CDATA[County Supervisor: "I Feel Betrayed" ]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 13:49:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/dave+roberts+interview+with+NBC+7.JPG

Why would former employees make false allegations they knew were not true? That’s the question San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts wants answered.

In an interview with NBC 7 Investigates Thursday, he said he feels betrayed by the staffers who have turned against him, filing claims that allege he misused public funds, practiced favoritism and was abusive to personnel in his district office.

Roberts said he had no clue why they would turn against him like they have. It would be a reoccurring theme throughout the interview: Roberts saying he was distraught that his former Chief of Staff Glynnis Vaughan and his former appointment scheduler Diane Porter misled him, lied and kept him in the dark about staff problems.

He accused the women of appearing to support his efforts for the district but then turning on him. “The truth will come out,” Roberts promised.

Vaughan was the primary problem, he said. The supervisor, who now admits his hiring of Vaughan was a mistake, faulted Vaughan for her lack of leadership and inability to keep him posted about problems in the district office.

“I first learned of all of this from Diane Porter,” he told NBC 7. Porter quit on April 14 and is now suing the county for $250,000 in a complaint alleging a hostile work environment, among other things.

It was Porter who told Roberts that staff members were upset over what they perceived as the supervisor playing favorites, specifically with staff member Harold Meza, whom some viewed as the “teacher’s pet.”

“Why didn’t Glynnis Vaughan come and tell me there was something she was not happy with?” asked Roberts. “She told the CAO (County Administrative Office), she told the county counsel, she told the head of Health and Human Services.”

In her claim, Vaughan said she did go to the supervisor and laid out the problems of favoritism and other issues she was seeing in the office. But she said Roberts ignored her suggestions and concerns.

Roberts defended Meza, his community representative. He has done an excellent job, said Roberts, and has a great future with the county.

“To say he is having an inappropriate relationship, that’s wrong, when you make charges like that against somebody,” he said, explaining that they have a good working relationship “I am very comfortable as a gay man and Mr. Meza is very comfortable as a straight man.”

He added that he is truly offended by the allegations made by Porter and Vaughan.

“[Meza]has done a declaration under oath under the penalty of perjury that he is telling the truth,” said Roberts. “When these two other claimants do the same, then we are going to have something to talk about because it will be a lie.” It’s his contention that the two claims filed were signed by their attorneys and therefore the women have made no accusations under oath.

Attorney Chris Morris, representing Porter, and attorney Lynne Lasry, representing Vaughan, said their clients signed their claims against the county of San Diego under oath. They stand by their claims as previously reported.

Months before Thursday’s interview, Roberts had told NBC 7 Investigates that Vaughan had taken a couple sick days off and would return the following week. However, she never returned and instead filed a claim against the office for $425,000, accusing the supervisor of misusing public funds, among other allegations.

Roberts had also told NBC 7 Investigates in the same, on-the-record conversation how happy his staff was. This contradicted what we had found: that eight of his 11 staffers had left since the first of the year. Roberts had said we had our information wrong.

In Thursday’s interview, the supervisor back-tracked on his earlier statement, explaining, “I didn’t know the information you had.” He alleges he was kept in the dark about problems with the staff.

He went to say the two women were providing NBC 7 Investigates with information about problems in the office that he was unaware of. “That’s one of the main mysteries in all of this, you had information I did not have,” said Roberts.

Another alleged problem swirling around the supervisor’s office was the printing, at taxpayers’ expense, of baseball cards with Roberts’ picture on the front of them. When asked if this was an issue of using public funds to advance his political career, Roberts said no, it’s been done before to keep the public informed on topics.

According to the supervisor, Vaughan really liked the idea. He said he decided to stop the project when he reviewed the cards and thought, “This looks terrible.” He said the cards were taken from the office to Porter’s garage without his permission, which contradicts her claim. In it, Porter said Roberts called her and told her to “make the cards disappear.”

She provided NBC 7 Investigates a copy of an April 3 email that she sent to county counsel advising them that the cards were in her garage. Roberts said he knows that “you can’t take government property” and the cards will now be returned to the county.

The claim filed by Lasry on behalf of Vaughan alleges the supervisor had been involved in an unapproved contract with an Arizona consultant, a person who was versed in “one of my top priorities, public safety issues” said Roberts.

The bill for the consultant’s services was $28,900. Roberts said he thought Vaughan was “going to look into it but that obviously never happened,” adding that it was acceptable practice for supervisors to hire outside consultants.

Following the supervisor’s interview, NBC 7 Investigates talked to Diane Porter regarding the allegations made by Roberts.

“What proof does he have?” she asked. “I have pages and pages of texts and emails.” She said some of the more recent allegations against both her and Vaughan made by the supervisor and his supporters were inaccurate.

As to her accusing Meza and the supervisor of having an inappropriate relationship, she said that during a road trip to the Colorado River, “I never questioned why they ended up in a room together. I just made notes that they did. It may raise the eyebrows of other people.” However, Porter said there was a text message sent to her during that trip that she found inappropriate.

Vaughan's attorney Lasry sent NBC 7 Investigates the following statement about Roberts' interview: 

"Ms. Vaughan has 18+ years of experience working in public service. She is a well-regarded professional in San Diego, and served accordingly as Chief of Staff for Supervisor Dave Roberts.
Although Supervisor Dave Roberts has apparently decided to revert to stereotypical arguments that women cannot work together, including his mischaracterization of Ms. Porter and Ms. Vaughan’s professional relationship, the fact is Supervisor Dave Roberts created, and continues to create, his own problems. Ms. Vaughan and Ms. Porter had a good, friendly working relationship.

"Supervisor Dave Roberts’ claim that he was unaware of concerns held by members of his staff during Ms. Vaughan’s tenure, or that he wasn’t told of these concerns directly by Ms. Vaughan (and others), is not accurate."

NBC 7 Investigates is working for you. If you have more information about this or other story tips, contact us: (619) 578-0393, NBC7Investigates@nbcuni.com. To receive the latest NBC 7 Investigates stories subscribe to our newsletter.

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<![CDATA[Boehner, Colleagues React to Hastert Allegations]]> Sat, 30 May 2015 02:46:31 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Dennis-Hastert-1981.jpg

Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert's old school employer, current House Speaker John Boehner and family member are speaking out after the federal government charged Hastert with allegedly evading banking rules and lying to the FBI.

"The Denny I served with worked hard on behalf of his constituents and the country," Boehner said in a statement. "I'm shocked and saddened to learn of these reports."

In a statement, U.S. Senator Mark Kirk said anyone who had ever worked with Hastert is "shocked and confused" by the new developments and that the former speaker "should be afforded, like any other American, his day in court to address these very serious accusations." 

Hastert supported Kirk's campaign for U.S. Senator in 2010.

Officials from the Illinois school district that used to employ Hastert as a teacher and wrestling coach said Friday they have no information regarding the alleged misconduct with which Hastert was charged.

"The District was first made aware of any concerns regarding Mr. Hastert when the federal indictment was released on May 28, 2015," a Yorkville Community Unit School District #115 spokesperson said in a statement to NBC Chicago.

In a Facebook interview with Charles Hastert of Joliet, nephew of Dennis Hastert, the family member said: 

"I don't believe it. Denny has always been honest and clean as they come. He is loved by his family and community."

Federal charges were handed down Thursday against Hastert, accusing him of evading banking rules and lying to the FBI when asked about them. The Department of Justice and IRS allege the 73-year-old made repeated withdrawals from his accounts and handed the cash over to an unnamed person "to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct."

In its statement, Hastert's former school district said it had no knowledge of the alleged misconduct, nor had anyone come forward to report misconduct.

"If requested to do so, the District plans to cooperate fully with the U.S. Attorney's investigation into this matter," the district said. 

A federal law enforcement official on Friday afternoon told NBC News the misconduct involved an alleged sexual relationship between Hastert and a former male student at the school.

Hastert's employment with Yorkville Community Unit School District #115 began in 1965 when he was hired to teach history and coach the wrestling team. Eleven years later, Hastert was named Illinois Coach of the Year after leading Yorkville to state wrestling championship.

He left the district in 1981, shortly after entering politics.


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<![CDATA[Mom Chases iPhone Thief After Son, 6, Punched in Face: Cops]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 20:44:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/laundromat+chase.jpg

A would-be thief who tried to grab a 22-year-old mother's iPhone at a Bronx laundromat punched the woman's 6-year-old son in the face when the boy stepped in his way as he tried to flee the mother's grasp, authorities said.

The man walked into the laundromat on Boone Avenue in Crotona Park East shortly before 5 a.m. Sunday and tried to sell the woman DVDs. She said she wasn't interested in buying any, and the man grabbed her iPhone, which was charging on a chair next to her, authorities said.

The suspect tried to run off with the phone but the woman grabbed him, trying to keep him there. He managed to break free with the phone and started running toward another exit when the 6-year-old boy stepped in his path.

Police say the suspect punched the young child in the face, knocking him to the ground, before running out to the parking lot. The boy's mother chased the suspect outside and wrestled her iPhone from the suspect before he managed to break free and ran off again.

Surveillance video shows the mother chasing the suspect back and forth across the laundromat (above).

The woman suffered minor injuries in the altercation and her 6-year-old son had facial swelling and lacerations. Both were treated at an area hospital.

"I really can't imagine a grown man punching a 6-year-old in the face," said Luis Rodriguez, a patron at the laundromat. "That's horrible." 



Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Hastert Received Odd Phone Call During C-SPAN Show]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 14:30:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/hastert-cspan.jpg

Video posted to a "MyC-SPAN" account on Thursday of a phone call former House Speaker Dennis Hastert received during an appearance on the network has raised questions as to whether there's any link between the call and the federal charges brought against Hastert.

The Washington Journal episode aired on a Nov. 13, 2014, one week after the midterm elections. The caller identified himself only as "Bruce" from Illinois.

"Hello, Denny," the caller said.

"Do you remember me from Yorkville?" he added, before laughing and hanging up.

"Yeah, go ahead," said Hastert.

"I think he's gone," said C-SPAN host Pedro Echevarria before moving onto the next caller. 

Hastert on Thursday was charged with making regular regular withdrawals from his bank accounts below a limit that would require reporting and then lying to federal officials when asked about those withdrawals. The Department of Justice and IRS allege Hastert, 73, withdrew $1.7 million from various banks between 2010 to 2014 and provided the funds to an unnamed person "to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct."

The indictment did not specify the alleged misconduct or identify "Individual A" other than saying the person was someone from Yorkville, Illinois, where Hastert was employed as teacher and wrestling coach from 1965 to 1981. District officials on Friday said they had no knowledge of any alleged misconduct.

A federal law enforcement official on Friday afternoon told NBC News the misconduct involved an alleged sexual relationship between Hastert and a former male student at the school.

"The Hill" newspaper noticed the video after it was posted to the C-SPAN website.


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<![CDATA[10-Hour Standoff Ends in Chula Vista]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 09:57:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/family+released+2.JPG

A fatal shooting in Chula Vista, south of downtown San Diego, led to a nearly 10-hour SWAT standoff at an apartment complex Thursday after the shooting suspect barricaded himself inside a unit with his family while armed with a rifle.

The standoff ended when SWAT officers discovered the man had taken his own life.

The initial shooting happened around 7:40 a.m. (10:40 a.m. ET) at 160 E. Street near 2nd Avenue, near the Mission Gardens apartment complex. More than a dozen police officers plus SWAT teams were called to the scene. At least three armored SWAT vehicles also surrounded the area.

Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) Capt. Lon Turner said police received multiple calls reporting gunfire in the area. A neighbor told NBC 7 she heard gunshots and looked out the window. She said she saw the suspect, whom she called Mike, with an "automatic weapon" walk a couple of steps and start firing, hitting another man who lived nearby. 

Mike and the man had problems, stemming from an incident about a year ago, the witness said. She told NBC 7 Mike was always angry and even threatened to shoot her adult son one day.

When police arrived, they found the critically wounded victim gunned down between cars near the apartment complex. The victim, a father of two children, later died.

Capt. Turner said the shooting suspect then barricaded himself inside an apartment with his family — two children, both under 10 years old, and his wife, referred to as Laura by police. It is unknown if the children are the suspect's biological kids.

By 3:35 p.m. -- eight hours into the standoff — the woman and kids were released from the apartment unit, police said. The suspect did not exit with them. Capt. Turner said the woman and children were safe and were being evaluated by medics.

The suspect remained holed up inside the apartment, and about an hour later, three shots rang out. CVPD Lt. Fritz Reber said the first came from a police test canon shot. The second was inside the apartment and did not come from officers. The third was a flash bang grenade that shattered a window so the SWAT team could send in two robots and check on the suspect.

One robot spotted a man down in an upstairs room, and a SWAT team soon followed to confirm. They found the suspect dead inside.

"Biggest thing that I'm happy about being able to report is that the wife and kids are out of there. Fortunately, they didn't lose their life in this incident. Clearly it's a tragedy when there's any loss of life," said Capt. Turner at a 5:30 p.m. news briefing.

Capt. Turner said the scene would now switch from a tactical one to a crime scene investigation. Investigators had gotten reports from other family that there may have been additional weapons inside the home, so officers obtained a search warrant to look for them.

The captain said Mike had been talking with officials about surrendering but had backed out of doing so several times during the long standoff.

Throughout the day, the suspect had been speaking with crisis negotiators and, at one point, sounded suicidal, according to police. They asked him to surrender without hurting anyone or himself.

At a 1 p.m. news briefing, after more than an hour without being able to make phone contact with the suspect, Capt. Turner said police had a very specific message for the man.

“If he is watching on television right now: Michael, we need to talk to you. We are calling your cellphone. So, either you or Laura need to pick up the phone. We want this to happen peacefully,” said Turner, staring into news cameras.

“We understand that there are two sides to every story. Let’s not make any rash decisions as it stands right now. Just pick up the phone so that we can communicate with you,” he continued.

Capt. Turner said officials would continue to call the man's phone. Again, the captain stressed the importance of bringing the standoff to a peaceful end.

At a 2 p.m. news briefing Capt. Turner confirmed that crisis negotiation teams were back in contact with the suspect and were able to speak with him on the phone.

“We’ve been talking with Mike,” said Capt. Turner. “We’ve asked him again to surrender peacefully. We’re concerned about the safety of him and his family.”

Police said the couple have been married for one year. The suspect was not making any sort of demands, officials said.

The standoff prompted officials to shut down traffic in parts of the surrounding downtown Chula Vista area for the majority of the day and evacuate some residents from the apartment complex.

The CVPD confirmed the 200 block of E Street had been shut down due to the heavy police activity. Police closed additional roadways due to the standoff including Third and First avenues, and F and D streets. Only residents were allowed in the area.

Hilltop Middle School is near the complex, but Capt. Turner said no lockdown had been ordered at the campus. He advised parents to keep road closures in mind as they picked up their students from school in the afternoon..

Meanwhile, police urged residents to stay indoors and shelter-in-place, and all others to stay away from the area.

A police captain said members of the shooting victim’s family had been escorted out of the complex safely and were with police just before 11 a.m. At that point, police said they had not ordered residents of the complex to evacuate, but officers were prepared to lead evacuations if necessary.

Police said they would utilize city resources to evacuate residents to the nearby Norman Park Senior Center at 270 F St., where residents would be given food and shelter while the standoff played out. Police said one resident, a 93-year-old man, had been safely evacuated from the complex due to medical issues earlier in the day.

At 11:35 a.m., an MTS bus arrived at the complex. By 11:45 a.m., it was confirmed that residents were being evacuated. About 10 residents exited several buildings at the complex, walking toward the bus alongside officers.

Police said the apartment complex is made up of four different sectors and officials were evacuating the property in an orderly fashion, sector by sector.

By 2 p.m., Capt. Turner said their evacuation of all residents at the complex had been completed. In all, he said 56 residents had been evacuated safely from the complex, including approximately 15 children. He said no forced evacuations had been necessary, as residents cooperated with the evacuation plan.

Some evacuees went to the senior center while others were picked up by family members.

“We have made sure we know who has come in and who has come out of this location,” said Capt. Turner, adding that officials planned to work their way from the “inside out” during the evacuation process.

The captain said officials found two to three rounds fired from the suspect’s weapon at the scene that indicated the suspect was armed with a long rifle, posing a major threat to the complex, thus prompting the evacuation.

“Rifled ammunition has much more significant range than a handgun. It goes a lot further and it goes through a lot more things than a handgun,” said Capt. Turner. “[This] poses a greater threat to the public and our officers.”

Investigators said the shooting may have stemmed from a dispute that escalated between neighbors. The motive is under investigation. Investigators were seeking a search warrant and researching the suspect’s background.

Officials said they hoped to bring the standoff to a peaceful resolution without further injuries.

The shooting, standoff and very heavy law enforcement response came as a shock to residents at the apartment complex.

One resident who has lived there for 10 years told NBC 7 he heard a loud blast but thought it was related to nearby construction and didn’t think much of it.

He took one of his three children to school and when he returned, police cars had the street outside his home blocked off.

“I thought it was a gas explosion, seriously I didn’t think it was a gun,” the man said.

The resident told NBC 7 he didn’t hear screaming or fighting before the blast.

The resident said he's been talking his mother who is in the apartment with his other children. He said they are safe and staying inside.

Another resident told NBC 7 he heard at least six back-to-back gunshots erupt as he was leaving for work. Seconds later, he heard one final shot.

Another man said he was outside when shots rang out. He said he could almost feel the ricochet as the bullets erupted.

The American Red Cross is at the evacuation site providing residents and police officers with food and beverages amid the standoff. There were approximately 15 evacuees using the center as of 1:20 p.m.

One evacuee told NBC 7 something just “wasn’t right” with the suspect. She said he lives at the apartment complex.

Another evacuee — a little boy — told NBC 7 he was very scared when officers began escorting his family out of their home. He thanked officials for keeping him safe.

The name of the victim shot and killed by the suspect before the standoff has not yet been released.

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<![CDATA[Housing Prices Rise 4.8 Percent: Index]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 12:17:19 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/HouseForSale_Stock.jpg

San Diego home prices rose 4.8 percent in the year since March 2014, according to a national index measuring housing prices, barely less than the 5 percent increase seen across the country’s 20 largest cities and nudging out the 4.7 percent growth reported for February.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index said on Tuesday the largest gains were in San Francisco and Denver, which each had about 10 percent growth. The jump was San Francisco’s first double-digit increase since July. Denver saw similar growth in last month’s Case-Shiller report. Cleveland and Washington, D.C., tied for last place with 1 percent growth.

The pace of price hikes has slowed nationwide in the last year, with the national index growing 4.1 percent since last March compared to a 10 percent leap between August 2013 and February 2014, the report said.

David M. Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, shot down talk of another housing bubble. He argued that since housing prices are rising faster than per capita income and wages, the pool of future home buyers is shrinking and moderations in home prices are likely.

“Home prices have enjoyed year-over-year growth for 35 consecutive months,” Blitzer said. “Given the long stretch of strong reports, it is no surprise that people are asking if we’re in a new house price bubble. The only way you can be sure of a bubble is looking back after it’s over.”
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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<![CDATA[Rescued Dog on Instagram]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 12:23:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Yorkie-Dog-Rescue-NY.jpg

A tiny Yorkshire terrier that was dumped down a trash chute in the Bronx in September has recovered from its injuries and has a new home -- and its very own Instagram account.

The ASPCA said that the dog, named Frankie, is thriving with a new owner, months after the pup was found at the bottom of the chute with a fractured skull and neurological trauma that left him nearly blind.

Veterinarians monitored Frankie for three months after he was rescued, and he quickly became a favorite at the ASPCA.

Frankie didn’t have to wait long to find a new home once he recovered, the ASPCA said. The rescue said an Amherst College student home on winter break visited the rescue and fell in love with the pup and eventually returned to adopt him.

The ASPCA said that after a difficult adjustment process compounded by his partial blindness, Frankie is at home with his new owner. He even has an Instagram account chronicling his adventures and collection of stylish sweaters.

“He is now well-adjusted, like any other fun-loving, cuddly Yorkie,” his owner said. “He loves his new home where he is meeting lots of new people and experiencing new things.”


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<![CDATA[Officials ID Man Killed in Alpine]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 12:06:24 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/deputy+involved+shooting+alpine.JPG

The man shot and killed by a San Diego County Sheriff's deputy in Alpine has been identified. 

Simon D. Hubble, 33, of Alpine died Wednesday after an incident involving Deputy Aaron Miller.

Miller, a six-year veteran of the department, was called to Emmanuel Way to help search for what had been reported as a mentally ill, violent man.

The suspect left the area but officials say Miller met up with him on the road sometime later.

Lt. John Maryon said it's not clear what happened, but officials say Miller deployed his Taser and then shot at Hubble, striking him.

Deputies and paramedics tried to perform CPR, but Hubble died a short time later, officials said.

A screwdriver was found by his body, according to Maryon.

The incident is under investigation.


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<![CDATA[Thieves Nab $7K in Parts From School's New AC System]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 21:31:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Johnson-Elem-Robbery.JPG

An elementary school in San Diego’s Emerald Hills community was recently targeted by thieves who stole approximately $7,000 worth of parts from an air-conditioning system that had recently been installed on campus.

According to the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), the suspects stole approximately 500-feet of copper piping from an air-conditioning system at Johnson Elementary School on Kelton Road.

In order to get to the AC units and steal the parts, the thieves had to climb onto the roof of a building on campus. The loss is valued between $5,000 and $7,000, officials said.

School district detectives are handling the investigation, which includes looking into whether surveillance cameras captured any images of the suspects.

An NBC 7 viewer said the AC system was recently installed after years of waiting for funding and because of the theft of the parts, it’s no longer working.

Johnson Elementary School is a year-round school, which means students are there from September through mid-July -- during some very hot summer months.

Principal Dr. Tracey Jenkins-Martin said the school has been working for the past seven years to get the AC system installed on campus.

Now, without it, she said learning will prove much more difficult for students.

“It’s really hot in those rooms – it can get upwards of 90-degrees in some classrooms. It really makes learning difficult when it’s hot inside the rooms,” said Jenkins-Martin.

The principal said the excessive heat leads to more nosebleeds, headaches and trips to the school nurse for students.

She said it's awful that someone would steal the piping and ruin their AC system with summer just around the corner.

“Shame on you for doing this to our school, to our students and to our community,” she said.
“It’s really heart-wrenching. It’s very disappointing that someone would take this opportunity that we’ve had for our students and steal from them.”

“They are actually taking away opportunities of learning for them because when it gets hot it really decreases their learning opportunities because of the heat in the classrooms,” Jenkins-Martin added.

Parent volunteer Delores Reed said she's also shocked and disappointed that someone would steal from the school like this, especially after so many years of hard work to get the AC system to students.

“We were so excited about getting air-conditioning. And, now for this to happen, the kids are going to be miserable again this summer," said Reed. "It’s taken years and years and years to get air-conditioning at this school and for somebody to take it from the children…”

“It’s very frustrating. I really don’t understand how people can just take away from children and have them suffer so much. The kids are going to be very hot – suffering in the dead heat of summer. It’s going to be very terrible for the kids," she added.

Anyone with information on this theft should contact the San Diego Police Department or the school district.

Reed said the suspect or suspects should remember this: ”Please, you really took from our children, and they really need the air-conditioning."



Photo Credit: Artie Ojeda]]>
<![CDATA[Padres: May Hasn't Been Kind to Ian Kennedy]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 11:47:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Ian-Kennedy-475030764.jpg

May hasn't been kind to Ian Kennedy.

The San Diego Padres right-hander lost his fourth straight start Thursday night, surrendering three home runs in the first three innings of an 11-5 defeat to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"We've had a good run of starts here and this was a severe bump in the road for our rotation," manager Bud Black said. "Nobody feels worse than Ian about this one. He just got some pitches elevated and they didn't miss them from the first inning on."

Jung Ho Kang hit a three-run homer, and Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco also went deep off Kennedy.

Kennedy (2-5) was chased by Andrew McCutchen's RBI double with two outs in the fourth. He lost his fourth straight start, allowing seven hits and seven runs, striking out five and walking two. Kennedy has allowed seven homers and 20 earned runs in his last four starts.

"It's been a roller-coaster for Ian this year," Black said. "We're trying to work through that. We're trying to get the consistency from Ian, and Ian's trying to do everything he can to string together some good starts."

"It's really frustrating," Kennedy said. "Fastball command was all over the place. They hit a couple of breaking balls for homers. It's really, really frustrating, really inconsistent, not what I like to do. As a pitcher, you try to go out there and be as consistent as possible. This has been a real test so far, the first month or so that I've pitched."

A.J. Burnett (5-1), who no-hit the Padres in 2001 while with the Marlins, won his fifth straight start. McCutchen, Neil Walker and Francisco Cervelli each had three of the Pirates' 15 hits.

The Pirates' first six runs scored on homers, including no-doubters by Kang and Polanco. Kang's shot with two outs in the first, his third, went an estimated 430 feet into the second deck in left field. Polanco led off the second with a 414-foot homer to center, his second.

Marte hit a two-run shot in the third, his 10th. McCutchen was aboard on a leadoff single.

Burnett allowed five runs, four earned, on eight hits in 5 2-3 innings, struck out six and walked two.

Josh Harrison and McCutchen hit RBI doubles in the four-run sixth and two runs scored on shortstop Alexi Amarista's throwing error.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gas Leak Forces Evacuations in Scripps Ranch]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 09:53:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/scripps+ranch+gas+leak.JPG

Crews worked to fix a gas meter in Scripps Ranch after authorities say a driver ran into it Thursday, causing a gas leak and a dangerous situation for people in the area.

Many businesses and restaurants were evacuated just after 8 p.m. after a damaged, large diameter line started releasing gas at the Scripps Ranch Business Park at 9925 Carroll Canyon Road, which near Interstate 15. Investigators believe someone backed into the gas meter and took off.

About 50 people were told to leave the complex as the gas leak until the meter was shut off around 2 a.m.

A firefighter told an NBC 7 crew to move back "because if this thing blows, half this property is going with it." 

"We have an explosion risk," said Capt. Daran Osborne with San Diego Fire-Rescue. "We don't want to get to close to it. We want to make sure there's no source of ignition, so we're not letting any cars in. We are trying to keep everybody at least 100 feet away." Police aided in traffic control.

Firefighters say it took so long to stop the gas because SDG&E crews were busy with another call of a similar magnitude. Thankfully, there was no wind blowing the gas in a concentrated direction, so it dissipated into the air.

However, construction crews must dig deep under asphalt to even reach the broken line, officials said.

Then they will search for the hit-and-run driver. An employee of one of the businesses said they have security cameras pointing right at the gas meter, so police will go through the footage Friday to try to get a vehicle description.

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<![CDATA[Man Throws Gun From Window in Police Chase]]> Thu, 28 May 2015 15:17:57 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Freeway-Pursuit-truck-0528.jpeg

A man who allegedly shot at a woman in San Diego’s Chollas View community threw his gun out the window of his truck as he led police on a chase along a freeway Thursday, officials said.

San Diego Police Department Lt. Kevin Mayer said suspect Jose Gonzalez, 60, threw his gun out of his driver’s side window as he was pursued by police along eastbound State Route 94 near Massachusetts Avenue.

Mayer said Gonzalez was being chased because he failed to stop for officers who tried to pull him over at College Avenue and Federal Boulevard.

Police wanted to speak with him because at around 9:20 a.m., Gonzalez had allegedly fired a gun at his ex-girlfriend’s daughter in the 800 block of Dassco Street near 49th Street in Chollas View.

Mayer said the woman was following Gonzalez in her car when he shot at her from his truck. The woman was not injured.

Gonzalez took off and the woman reported the incident to police who were then on the lookout for the suspect’s white truck. Officers spotted the truck a short time later, but Gonzalez failed to yield, giving way to the pursuit.

The chase came to an end around 11 a.m. on northbound State Route 125 just before Mission Gorge Road near Santee. Mayer said Gonzalez surrendered at that point without incident and was arrested.

Mayer said no one was injured in the chase and the suspect’s gun was recovered from the freeway. The suspect has a history of domestic violence involving his ex-girlfriend – the mother of the woman he shot at – the lieutenant confirmed.
 



Photo Credit: Mark Sackett]]>
<![CDATA[San Diego's Bike to Work Day]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 08:45:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/bicycle+generic.jpg The morning commute was different Friday morning for San Diegans who participated in Bike to Work Day. The program included pit stops for cyclists where they could fuel up during their ride to work. NBC 7's Nicole Gomez reports.]]> <![CDATA[School Meeting Shines Focus on Sex Offenders]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 15:00:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Feaster-Elem-Meeting.JPG

More than 100 parents, school leaders and police officers met at a school in Chula Vista Friday to discuss their concerns regarding more than a dozen sex offenders who live in the area – some right next to a school.

A community meeting was held at Feaster Elementary School on Flower Street. The Chula Vista Police Department and school officials presented information to parents about the 13 sex offenders in the area.

Officials said having that many sex offenders in the vicinity is not unique to the school, but they wanted to have a discussion with parents to make sure they’re aware of the situation and ensure parents are taking the necessary steps to keep their children safe going to and from school and while playing outside with friends.

Many of the sex offenders in the area live within walking distance of the campus, including one sex offender who lives right next door to the school.

Parents at the meeting, including Yolanda Holt, walked away with a lot of tips on how to discuss the matter with their children.

“It’s up to the parents. It really is up to the parents,” said Holt, who is now working with fellow parents and law enforcement to start a neighborhood watch program near the school.

“We need to take the situation into our own hands and let these people know that they’re not going to mess with our children,” Holt added.

Parents were particularly concerned about the sex offender who lives on the other side of the fence of a school playground where kids play every day.

“He’s in a trailer park right next to the playground and he has full view and access to all these kids out there – and that’s what really upsets me,” said Valerie Downey, a Feaster Charter School grandparent. “He’s too close. He’s way too close to the school.”

Downey asked the school to block off the fence so the playground would be out of sight from the sex offender’s home.

Downey, along with others at the meeting, urged parents to write to their senators to support the changing of a law so sex offenders have to live a certain distance away from schools.

“I don’t know where they need to put them, but it’s not right next door to a school. That’s just what’s so frustrating to me,” she added.

A this handout was given parents by officials, which included tips on how to talk with children about safety.

The tips included, in part:

  • Inform children that it is wrong for adults to engage children in sexual activity
  • Listen to your children. Pay attention if they tell you that they do not want to be with someone or go somewhere. This may be an indication of more than a personality conflict or lack of interest in the activity or event.
  • Make an effort to know the people with whom your child is spending time.
  • Knowledge is power. This is especially true for protecting children from sexual assault. Teach your children about their bodies, give them the correct language to use when describing their private parts. Emphasize that those parts are private.
     



Photo Credit: Matt Rascon]]>
<![CDATA[Plaza de Panama Ruling Reversed by Appeals Court]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 08:07:55 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/balboa+park+generic.JPG

The City of San Diego has the green light to give Balboa Park's Plaza De Panama a facelift.

A state appellate court has reversed a Superior Court ruling which delayed the project for more than two years.

The new ruling clears the city's plan to improve parking and traffic in the park and add pedestrian-friendly plazas and gardens.

The city-approved plan was challenged by the Save Our Heritage Organisation who argued it violates the city's preservation laws.

The controversial project included the construction of a bypass road off the Cabrillo Bridge and an 800-space underground paid parking lot in the large public park in the heart of San Diego.

In February 2013, Judge Timothy Taylor ruled the City of San Diego and The Plaza de Panama Committee (RPI) violated municipal code.

The historic heart of Balboa Park began as a pedestrian promenade for the Panama-California Exposition nearly a century ago.

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<![CDATA[New Yorkers Ready for Manhattanhenge]]> Fri, 29 May 2015 20:12:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/manhattanhenge+sky.jpg

Manhattanhenge, the moment when the setting sun aligns precisely with the street grid in Manhattan, can be seen this weekend. 

Half the sun aligned with the grid on Friday at 8:12 p.m; the full-sun Manhattanhenge will happen the same time on Saturday, according to the Hayden Planetarium.

The best view can be seen as far east in Manhattan as you can go without losing view of New Jersey. Good spots are cross streets like 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd and 57th streets.

Long Island City in Queens should also get a spectacular view -- so much so that the nonprofit Hunters Point Parks Conservancy hosted "LICHenge" Thursday night at LIC Landing in the park.

According to the group, there's a day-and-a-half window around the Manhattanhenge dates where viewing will still be optimal, DNAInfo reports.  

Manhattanhenge happens twice a year; in addition to the May dates, it will happen again July 12 and 13. 

On a clear day, the typical resulting effect of Manhattanhenge is a "radiant glow of light" across the skyscrapers and buildings, "simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough's grid," according to Hayden Planetarium. 

Show us your Manhattanhenge photos by uploading them here or uploading them on Instagram or Twitter with hashtag #NBC4NY!



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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